3rd-graders' Reading First scores show progress
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 23, 2006

Betty Reid

Educators in the Roosevelt Elementary School District got good news recently when results from Reading First showed third-graders are moving toward proficiency.

The Arizona Department of Education worried about the district last year when nine Roosevelt schools placed in the bottom 15 of the 70 Arizona schools that received state grants. The 2006 Reading First results released to the School Board earlier this month show improvement.

"The news is wonderful," said Mark Dowling, Roosevelt superintendent. ADE officials agreed there was some improvement on Reading First, but only four Roosevelt schools will receive Reading First grants for the 2006-07 school year. The rest of the schools are not closing the reading gap fast enough and will no longer receive funding, ADE officials said.

Dowling said progress is good news and credited intervention at the six schools where third-graders, for example, are reading 34 words per minute.
The average is 33 words.

Among the third-grade English learner students, the results show they gained reading proficiency since 2003, when Roosevelt bought the $1.4 million Voyager Reading Program with a Reading First grant.

Susan Iniguez, director of Roosevelt curriculum and assessment, said 56 percent is the minimum standard for reading proficiency, and the children reached 65 percent.

"That was pretty exciting for us," Iniguez said. "It means the former ELL children have become proficient over three years."

The Roosevelt school district has 21 campuses, 16 campuses have Reading First federal grants. About 12,500 students attended Roosevelt schools in
2005-06 school year.